Mix It Up

By Charlotte on November 4, 2011 6:07 AM

Bob will be the first to tell you I like things hot. I'll always choose a sunny beach over chilly mountains, a knock-out red over any green and fresh jalapenos on my pizza.


And color me sold on anything that cuts time in the kitchen. I never compete with Pillsbury in the piecrust department or spend hours stirring up pasta sauce when it's so easy to open up Ragu.


So when the folks at Nueva Cocina asked us to try some of their heat-inspired shortcuts-to-homemade-goodness, I thought "Time to mix it up!"  


TasteOfNueva(4)Gift Basket 360.jpg 


We're giving away a gift basket filled with 100% natural, Latin-inspired favorites from Nueva Cocina.  It includes 12 rice mixes, seasoning packets and soups (a $29.99 value) sure to spice up your meals.


Click "Read More" for details on how to enter. Contest* ends Nov. 17!



Stuffed Bell Pepper 362.jpgNueva Cocina Stuffed Bell Peppers


This tasty dish caught my eye because Bob's such a big fan of beef-and-rice stuffed peppers.


Cut off tops of peppers and remove membrane.


Prepare Nueva Cocina Mexican Rice Mix according to package directions and set aside.


Brown meat. Then add Nueva Cocina Picadillo Seasoning and tomato sauce and cook according to package directions. Set aside.


In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked ground beef, cooked rice, water and 3/4 cup of shredded cheese (optional). Mix well.


Stuff peppers with meat mixture and place in a 3-quart baking dish. Sprinkle remaining cheese over the stuffed peppers.


Bake at 350° degrees for 45-50 minutes until peppers are tender and cheese is melted.


* Can also be prepared using Nueva Cocina Taco Fresco Seasoning


What We Liked

Most everything needed for the Mexican Rice came in the box. I just mixed water and a little olive oil with the package ingredients. While the rice cooked, I browned lean ground beef. Then I mixed it with the handy Nueva Cocina Picadillo Seasoning packet (how easy!) and tomato sauce. Plus the products are all-natural; they contain no artificial ingredients or preservatives.


How It Tasted

Yummy! We loved the delicious combination of Mexican Rice, spicy ground beef, tomato sauce and peppers topped with cheesy goodness. The mixture had just enough of a kick to get our attention and make it worthy of Bob's must-repeat-often list!



Arroz con Pollo Rap 180.jpgArroz Con Pollo Wraps (Makes 4-6 Servings)


A few nights later, we tried these spicy chicken-and-rice wraps.



Prepare Nueva Cocina Rice Mix for Chicken according to the package directions.


Chop the chicken into 1" cubes. Combine the chicken, rice and cheese.


Spoon approximately six ounces of the mixture onto a wrap - add a small amount of lettuce, tomatoes and Cilantro Lime Crema.


Roll up and cut the wrap across on the bias.


Cilantro Lime Crema Sauce

Place all ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth and thoroughly combined.


What We Liked

Once the rice was ready, this healthy burrito-like sandwich came together in minutes. Naturally, we enjoyed it made with some of Bob's famous grilled chicken breast. But it would also be good with rotisserie chicken from your favorite deli.


How It Tasted

The lettuce added a nice little crunch to this delightful, Latin-inspired chicken-and-rice medley. And the Cilantro dressing laced with lime complimented the flavors perfectly. What a great way to sneak a salad onto Bob's plate!



On the Shelf

Nueva Cocina foods are available at NuevaCocina.com and major retailers like Publix, Whole Foods and Fresh Market



Want to mix it up? You could win a gift basket brimming over with Nueva Cocina's 100% natural, Latin-inspired favorites. This kick-to-your-tastebuds includes:

  • 4 convenient rice mixes (Mexican, Red Bean, Black Bean and Coconut Raisin)
  • 4 sassy seasoning packets (Chipotle Taco, Picadillo and two Taco Fresco) and
  • 4 warming soups (Cuban Black Bean, Tortilla, Latin Lentil and White Bean).

To enter the contest*, email your name, mailing address (no PO Boxes please) and phone number to Enter@BoomerBrief.com by Nov. 17 and put "Mix-It-Up" in the subject line.


* This contest is only open to entrants in the 50 United States.



Thank you to Nueva Cocina for providing free samples for review and testing.

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Diabetes-Friendly Chicken Burrito Bowl

ChickenBurritoBowlEverydayDiabetes 600.jpg

By Laura Cipullo and Lisa Mikus, authors of Everyday Diabetes Meals
Image credit: Colin Erricson

Prepare your own Mexican quick fix with this Chipotle-inspired bowl. Carbs are moderated by filling the bowl with beans, extra veggies and chicken. No need for rice, since the beans count as carbs.


If you love tomatoes, increase the quantity to 1/2 cup, but note that the carbohydrates will also increase.

If preparing this recipe for one person, cut all of the ingredients in half. Or simply prepare the full recipe up to the end of step 2 and store leftover chicken and vegetable-bean mixture in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat in the microwave on High for 1 to 2 minutes, or until heated through, and continue with step 3.

Health Bite: The iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, copper and zinc in black beans help to keep bones strong and healthy.

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